The Music Box

Please read my letter and tell me if I need to tweek it any. I am totally open to constructive criticism!! It will not hurt my feelings at all for you to suggest that I add or delete something. I am trying to get my point across in an assertive manner without sounding like some cranky old hen.

Please let me know if you think I am being irrational!! I will totally pull this blog post if I come to believe that I am.

To: Music Box Body Art Studio

613 SW 10th Avenue
Amarillo, Texas

Dear Music Box Body Art Studio,

In September 2010, I went to your establishment to discuss getting a tattoo. This tattoo has been years in the making and planning. It is also my first tattoo so it is a very big deal to me. I chose The Music Box because I have always admired the work that I have seen produced from your establishment. I live in Plainview Texas and considered getting one closer to home but felt that it would be worth the trip to Amarillo in order to get my work done. I brought my original design with me when I went in. I was given an appointment for October 16th. I left my design and a $20.00 deposit. I was told that, if I failed to come to my appointment with out rescheduling, I would lose my $20.00. I had no problems with that rule. In fact, I believe it to be a very fair rule.

On Thursday October 14th, I called to reschedule my appointment. I had been to the doctor and was sick. I was also coughing really hard and did not feel that would add to the overall *great* experience for me or the artist. I talked to a man when I called (I did not get his name) and he told me "Sweetheart, that is so very responsible for you to call ahead and change your appointment. Thank you very much." I believe he thought I was much younger on the phone than I actually am! That appointment was changed to Saturday October 30th at 2:00.

I have been looking forward to getting my tattoo for some time. I was so excited the entire week leading up to the 30th. I got up that morning and made a special trip to Amarillo to get the tattoo. Amarillo is over 75 miles away from Plainview. I had no reason to make the trip other than to keep my appointment to get my tattoo. I arrived 15 minutes early for my appointment. I told the young lady that I was there for my 2:00 appointment. She then informed me that the artist was not there. He was out due to a death in the family and she did not know when to expect him to return to work. She then said "I just KNOW that someone called you and rescheduled! Joe asked us to call everyone". She then looked at the appointment book and said "Oh! I see NO ONE called you to reschedule. Someone should have totally done that." Let me also say that she was pleasant and not rude at all. I could see that my name was on the appointment book for 2:00 and my phone number was plainly written underneath my name. I was very disappointed and very upset that no one had called me. I was never even offered an apology. I made my new appointment and left.

After much thought, I realized that I was held to a higher standard than The Music Box was. I paid a deposit to ensure that I kept my appointment. Your establishment did not keep its appointment with me and caused me to drive over 150 miles round trip just for nothing. If you cannot take care of the small details, how can I trust you to do something that is very big to me....the marking of something very special and personal on my body.

I do want to say that I in no way hold the artist responsible. I understand that he had a family emergency and left to go attend to those matters. The young lady even told me that he requested that his customers be called and their appointments rescheduled.

I am choosing to cancel my appointment that is scheduled for 11/13/10. I am canceling my appointment several days ahead of time so that you have plenty of time to schedule someone in my spot.

I am requesting that you return my original artwork to me in the mail and that you not use that tattoo on anyone without my permission.

I am requesting that you refund my $20.00 deposit since you failed to keep your appointment with me.

You may see a copy of my letter on my blog I will happily update how The Music Box handled my complaint with my readers once you have resolved this matter.


*cluck cluck* I will peck you to death if you think 48 is too old to get a tattoo. can think it but I would rather you not say it.


  1. That's a very well written letter and hopefully they will return your deposit as they made an error.

    One little thing, just a typo, in fact. In the third paragraph you used the word "so" when I think you meant to use the word "say" (about 2/3 of the way through that paragraph).

  2. My only suggestions would be to change, "The more I have thought about it the more.." to "After much thought..." but I'm not even sure about that.

    But I think you are SPOT ON. They totally dropped the ball on this & they need to do the right thing. It would take a positive result for me to take my tattoo business there.

  3. Hey, Mindy.

    You must have been so frustrated to make that big trip for nothing! All that anticipation, all that excitement, and then... pfftt... the air coming right out of your balloon. How disappointing.

    You're very clear about what you want: your money back, and your art respected and returned. That's good.

    On the other hand-- it sounds like this was an oversight on their part? They were conscientious enough to make phone calls, but your appointment slipped through the cracks in a chaotic time. Do you really want to end your arrangement with them, or would you rather give them a change to make up the inconvenience?

  4. Di those are bery good points and I think you are spot on. If we were talking about returning a jacket or something of the sort, I would give them another chance. Since this is so personal and permenant, I feel like I cannot do that.

    I might have even felt a bit different if I had actually been apologized to.

    I think that I why I have put this letter out vent and to get real ideas. I promise that, if I come to understand that I an out of line, I will totally delete this post.

  5. Oh, honey. I don't think you're out of line-- I just think you had the joy sucked out of something that was really special to you, and you're trying to find where to go from there.


  6. Just a typo Hun......" keep its appointment we me and caused"
    Very well written.

  7. First a question: Have you already asked for your deposit back and did the Music Box refuse to send it?

    If the answer is no, you may not need this letter at all. I would call them and ask them for a refund and make sure you get the name of who you speak with. Plus, send a short letter confirming the conversation and that you have cancelled well in advance and want your refund back.

    Then, if they don't cough up the dough, strong arm 'em. Not only add the blog, but cc: the local Amarillo newspaper.

    Your friend in the Whupass Pantry

  8. I agree with LJ--I think the letter is very well written and gets everything you need out on the table...but may not be the first step. First I'd call, cancel, and ask for the money and artwork back, and follow that up with an email the same day reminding them who you talked to and what you asked for (and be sure it saves in your sent folder!). If they hem and haw or don't comply, then send the letter to them and to everyone you know and to the paper and to anywhere else that will take it.
    My two cents...

  9. Mindy, I think your letter is very well written, very tactful, and quite honestly more kind than you need to be.

    I look forward to hearing how they handle this. At the very least they should give you a huge discount!

    PS. I think 48 is the perfect age for a tattoo :-)

  10. Fixed it Jer!

    And sheeze...look at all my typos in comments!

    Thank you Di! (((hugs)))

  11. PG an I have not. I will do that today!

  12. And Gerry I adore you *I said with a 48 year old smile* HA!

  13. "a deposit to insure that" in 4th paragraph should be "ensure." It is a very esoteric thing. Much common usage treats them interchangeably, but they are slightly different. Generally, use the "i" one when actually talking about insurance matters. Use the "e" one when talking about getting someone to do what it expected.

  14. Mrs. Estlack and Mrs. Hayes would have been horrified. HA!

  15. I work with a lady who celebrates very important events with special tatoos, and I don't think she would have been happy about the appointment not being kept. I am guessing this is the ONLY tatoo artist they have??

    I would call and give them a chance to give me my money back, and THEN I would step up the pressure.

  16. WOW! Cyn you taught me something. Changed it!

  17. LOL it would have been Mrs. Stave Jerry

  18. Winny I think he is the only artist. If there are more, I was not aware of them now was I offered to switch to someone else.

  19. Mindy, you write a great letter! I think you were assertive and clear enough about what you wanted while being polite and tactful. But I do agree with Presbyterian Gal...perhaps you should call them first and tell them what you want - your appointment cancelled and your money and original artwork back. If they don't comply within a few days, then I'd send the letter on to them and the paper.

    Good luck, my friend! And when you do get that tatoo I hope you show it to us (if it's in a spot where you can show it to us! :o)



  20. Girl - you are brave. Gettin' inked. I don't blame you for feeling funny about going back - what a way to have your party crashed. Bummer. I'd say go w/the phone call first - f/u with an email and if you get some 'tude - take 'em out sista.

  21. I would probably take out the part that says, "I was not really sure how to proceed at that point without being rude." - You actually did proceed without being rude. And right after that the part that says, "without making a scene" - It implies that you traditionally make a scene in such matters... Just my two cents.

  22. Cyndi thank you. I don't know if I will show it because I am so shy and all. ~snorts~

    I will post it here...and it will be on the inside of my left ankle.

  23. Adrienne thank you for your words. I am going to give them a call this morning and let them have the opportunity to make things right.

  24. Miss Pants....VERY good point! I edited those two parts out.

  25. Have you considered assembling a Posse and riding into town loaded(either one would work)and unleashing good ol' Texas justice on them? The "Music Box..." that's a sissy name for a tattoo parlour...

  26. ROTL Wonderful you totally made me laugh!

  27. Peeking in to see what happened...

  28. I told you on FB what I thought about the latest development in this saga. It is not right for them to withhold a refund on your deposit. YOU kept your end of the bargain. THEY were the ones who dropped the ball and it is NOT RIGHT for them to keep your deposit.

  29. The part that upset me the most was that they offer NO apology. I was there, she was very nice. I would not have been that nice.

  30. TRUE THAT.

    I'm sorry this has not been a positive experience for you.

    xo, C.

  31. wow, i am just now seeing your post...i think your letter was very well written....sorry about your tattoo experince not starting out very positive...surely by now, you have talked to them or something....i guess...

    i do hope you will find someone else who will be able to make your tatoo experience much enjoyable and to your liking and etc.! :)

    im gonna join a challenge on the sisterhood of the shrinking jeans...just wondering if you are interested...i know this is a busy time for everyone...however, i really need something to keep me moving on my healthy journey especially during the holidays....

    here is the site :

    if you are interested, just leave a comment on my blog or here...
    if you decide you want to join the hood whether you decide to do this challenge or not, i am tracy c. in the hood.... :)

    i do hope your wednesday (today) has been a good one so far and continues to be good for ya...!!!

    thank you,



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